Last month I made a radical change. On an un-planned whim, I logged out of all my social media, deleted the apps from my phone, and set out on a full month without being connected to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I quickly learned that the world does not come crashing down on you. In fact, spending time away from social media breeds a healthy, happy outlook on life. Here are a few life lessons I learned from not doing it for the ‘Gram.
You Still Climbed the Mountain
Everyone knows that silly saying “did you even do it if you don’t post it to social media?” The answer is yes. Most definitely yes. In fact, I challenge you to go camping, go on vacation, go climb a mountain and not post a single photo. Don’t upload every minute of your life to your Stories. Tell no one (except someone for the sake of safety) what you’re up to.
I found that I had more fun not worrying about how I was going to tell my story of my hike to the world once I got home. Instead, I felt really connected to the landscape and the people I was with.
You’ll Be Closer to Your Friends
My biggest concern from going on a social media blackout was that I would lose connections with my friends. I wouldn’t know how their camping trip went, or what they were up to after work. It turns out, this is far from the case. In fact, I got closer to a lot of people because I reached out to them intentionally. It’s far better to get a text or a phone call asking about their much-anticipated backpacking trip than it was to send a random assortment of emojis via socials. Not to mention, I didn’t see a need to stop a great conversation or an awesome moment to snap a pic. We just enjoyed life together.
Your Numbers Don’t Plummet
Listen, I’m in a unique position when it comes to social media since I run my own freelance business and have a successful blog. I figured if I stopped posting, my followers would disappear. However, that was far from the truth. In fact, my numbers actually grew. Social media is designed to keep you on the platform. You think that if you aren’t constantly engaging and double-tapping that you’ll be punished. I promise this isn’t the case.
You Might Find You’re More Addicted Than You Think…
A lot of people love to use social media and claim that it isn’t an addicting habit for them. However, the reality is far from that. You’ll catch yourself going to your phone to look for the latest updates, only to find you don’t have the platforms. I took a lot of that mindless scrolling energy and turned it into action by reading about the news, learning a new skill, or working on an artistic side-project.
At first, it was hard to put the phone down. But once I got over that initial “withdrawal” I realized how many different opportunities open up around you. The average person spends 2 hours and 23 minutes a day on social media! Imagine what you could do with that new-found free time.
Your Heart Feels Fuller
Letting go of social media reduces your stress level. You don’t spend your time comparing your life to everyone else. You’ll get more satisfaction out of the things you are engaged with because you aren’t worrying about how it compares to everyone else. In fact, without social media, you don’t really care about #livingyourbestlife because you’re literally out there doing it without telling the world about it.
Overall taking a break from social media or going on a digital detox brings so much more joy to your outdoor pursuits and life in general. It’s a refreshing way to reconnect with the moment, forget about being the best, and just enjoy getting outside.